Healthy SF Restaurants: The Plant Cafe Organic


Name: The Plant Café Organic


Location: 250 Montgomery St San Francisco, CA, 94111

4 other locations in the bay area

Type of Restaurant: Vegetarian, Fast Casual

Type of diets it can accommodate: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free

Type of diets hard to accommodate: Keto

What we ordered: Power Bowl, Make-Your-Own Salad

Good For: Breakfast, lunch, takeout, delivery

What we thought: Plant Café Organic serves 100% organic food, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.  In fact, The Plant Café Organic is the first platinum Real Certified restaurant in the country.  Their flexible menu accommodates many different diet types.  And the food is delicious!



Spiced Sweet Potato Banana Bread (gluten free)


This sweet and spicy banana bread gets the majority of it’s sweetness from whole foods—bananas and sweet potatoes. 



2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 sweet potato, roasted and mashed

1/4 cup coconut sugar

¼ cup date sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

3 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tbs coconut oil

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ cup oat flour (ground oatmeal)



1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease loaf pan.

2. Mash bananas and roasted sweet potato. (Here is my favorite way to roast sweet potatoes from Empowered Sustenance)

3. Add egg, coconut sugar, date sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract to mashed bananas and sweet potato in a large bowl.

4. In a food processor, grind oatmeal until fine to make oat flour. 

5. In second bowl, mix together oat flour, spices, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ground flax.

6. Mix wet and dry ingredients.

7. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 35-45 mins, until done in center.

Option: this recipe can be made vegan by replacing the egg with a flax egg. 

This recipe was inspired by Robust Recipes


Good Morning Oats

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¼ cup oatmeal, thick cut, gluten free (bob’s red mill)

½ cup water

1-2 chopped dates

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs nut butter

1 tbs ground flax seeds

¼-1/2 cup almond milk (or milk/milk alternative of choice)

¼ cup blueberries (organic, wild, fresh or frozen)



1. Combine oatmeal, water, dates, cinnamon, and blueberries (if frozen), in pot.  Bring to a gentle bubble. 

2. Once oatmeal is bubbling, turn off heat, cover, and let sit 5 mins

3. Add ground flax, nut butter, almond milk, and stir to combine.  Enjoy!

Healthy SF Restaurants: Nourish Cafe



Name: Nourish Café


Location: 1030 Hyde Street (near California)
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 580-7463

189 6th Avenue (near California)
San Francisco, CA 94118

Type of Restaurant: Vegetarian

Type of diets it can accommodate: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free

Type of diets hard to accommodate: Paleo, Keto, low FODMAP

What we ordered: Nourish Bowl, Vibrant Juice, Side Salad, Pumpkin Cake

What we thought: Nourish Café offers high quality, whole food, nutrient dense meals at a reasonable price.  The menu is primarily bowls, sandwiches, juices and smoothies. 

Good for: delivery, takeout, breakfast, a quick lunch.  They also cater, and you can order vegan cakes for special occasions.


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Purple Curry

Purple vegetables are especially nutritious due to their anthocyanin content—the pigments that make them purple.  These purple pigments are potent antioxidants, and help reduce oxidative stress, which has been linked to many conditions—from heart disease to cancer.  This recipe includes several other nutrient powerhouses: alliums (onion family) vegetables, cruciferous (broccoli family) vegetables, and turmeric (another antioxidant powerhouse).  Onion and broccoli family vegetables as well as turmeric help support our body’s detoxification pathways and eliminate potentially harmful compounds.  Nourish yourself with this delicious recipe!  



1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3 purple sweet potatoes
4 purple carrots
½ purple cabbage
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 can chickpeas1 can regular (not light) coconut milk
1 can tomato sauce
1 ½ tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons curry powder
salt and pepper
parsley or cilantro (to garnish)

1 cup short grain brown rice
2 ¼ cups water



  1.  Peel and chop onions, ginger, and garlic. 
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, sautee onions, garlic, and ginger in 1 tablespoon coconut oil until soft.  About 5 mins
  3. Chop sweet potato into cubes.  Chop carrots into half moons.  Add chopped carrots and sweet potato to pot. 
  4. Rinse canned chickpeas and add to pot.  Add tomato sauce and coconut milk
  5. Add chopped cabbage.
  6. Add curry powder, cumin, and turmeric.
  7. Cook on medium low, gently bubbling for 20-30 mins, or until all vegetables are tender, but not mushy. 
  8. While curry is simmering, make rice.  Add 1 cup rice to 2 ¼ cups water, and cook for 20-30 mins, or until tender.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve curry over rice.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro. 

Gut Health: At the Root of All Health

Why is everyone talking about the gut?  


Gut health is literally at the root of all health.  Our gut, our intestines, are the site of nutrient absorption, much like a plant’s roots.  If we can’t properly digest, absorb, and assimilate the food we eat, and turn it into the building blocks of our body, we cannot be healthy.  If your gut isn’t functioning properly, your brain, your liver, your heart, etc cannot perform optimally.

In particular, your gut and your immune system are tightly linked. While it may sound strange, the inside of your GI tract— a hollow tube running from tip to tail— is actually outside your body, and your gut, in particular your small intestine, is the main entry point where your digested food enters your body.  In a healthy gut, digested food particles are transported in an organized fashion through the cells lining the gut—like going through customs at an airport. 

When the gut leaks, the spaces between the cells open up, and large food particles that may not be properly digested slip through the cracks, and can cause problems in the body.  Think of this like someone boarding a plane without going through security.  If someone manages to get into an airport without going through security, before long the TSA security guards will notice, and may attack the intruder.  The guards will sound the alarm for more security guards to show up, and create chaos in the airport.  The regular passengers will not be able to carry on their normal business.  This is not unlike what happens in a leaky gut—or to use the medical term—intestinal permeability. 

Leaky gut is not a recognized disease, but it is a sign of trouble. Gut health is an exciting and active area of research, and science is constantly telling us more about how what happens in our bellies affects our entire body.  One of the most interesting yet alarming subjects is the relationship between problems in the gut, and the development of autoimmune diseases.  Autoimune diseases are pretty much what they sound like—diseases where the immune system gets confused and attacks the normal tissues of the body, leading to multiple disease states.  Just about every tissue in the body can be mistakenly attacked by the immune system. 

Cancer and autoimmune diseases can be though of in similar ways.  Cancer is not one disease, but the out of control growth of different tissues is an individual type of cancer.  However, cancer cells of one type can spread and lead to a different type of cancer.  Similarly autoimmune diseases are a class of disease, and each individual autoimmune disease is related to the immune system attacking a different type of cells. 

Autoimmunity is an increasing problem.  This is a new area of research, with a constantly increasing number of diseases associated with autoimminity--the body attacking itself.  Gut health is of vital importance to the immune system, as about 70% of our immune system is associated with the gut.  

To learn more about how you can improve the health of your immune system by improving the health of your gut, schedule your free consultation.  

What is Functional Nutrition?


Functional medicine and nutrition are tightly connected.  Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease.  The functional medicine approach includes patient-centered care, integrative, science-based approach, and utilizing the best of conventional Western and integrative medical techniques.  For instance, this could involve recommending pharmaceutical treatments along side stress-reducing techniques like meditation. 

Functional medicine is a systems-oriented, science-based approach that involves understanding a patient’s biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and environmental exposures. 

Addressing root causes in the functional medicine paradigm almost always involves addressing and improving the diet.  Therefore, proper nutrition is of vital importance in functional medicine.

Functional Nutrition vs Functional Medicine

While there is a very high degree of overlap between functional nutrition and functional medicine—including addressing sleep, stress, environmental toxin exposure, physical activity, and implementing dietary changes, there are some things that are beyond a functional dietitian’s scope of practice.  Obviously functional MDs can recommend drugs and RDs cannot.  Also, there are some natural supplements that have potent drug-like effects that no self-respecting functional dietitian would recommend without being monitored by a physician.  The ability to order labs is highly variable from state to state, but most functional dietitians can and do recommend testing, but often in collaboration with a physician. 

More info

For more information on Functional Medicine as well as Functional Nutrition, check out the Institute for Functional Medicine, as well as Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine. Or schedule your free consultation!